when forever ended


to believe in forever

requires forgetting

before and after


the Kabbalist’s creation:

we could only exist

after God contracted

letting us live

under a fragmented sky


in your name

the same contradiction

smooth sounds

hiding consonants

breaking my forever

into before

and after

you 



sidewalk communion 


i was a pilgrim in exercise clothes

lost in the rosary of steps

the davening of dislocation


how strange to pray

blocks from church street

to feel god's reassurance

over the passing cars

and pigeons flapping wings


i had to sit, had to feel 

something steady 

as time and waiting 

became a farce

had to hold onto something

as the myth of someone better

a more perfect savior

fell away


i’d wanted a path

a holy site to find

and tell me my place

in the chaos of things


so god laughed

and gave me the world



after she cut Samson’s hair


when i returned

they gave me

many names


moonlight scythe

midnight mongoose

snake charmer


they thought it was praise

but i knew the curse


binding me

to the dark

to a knife

to him


forever more

and less

than we were

Katie Simpson is a writer and photographer in San Francisco. Her work has been featured in Eastern Iowa Review, HitRecord's Body Book, and Entropy Magazine among others. You can follow her here.